Sorting and Seeking and Skimming oh my

Sorting and Seeking and Skimming oh my!!!

As I read over many Slicers posts today I read about waiting and I now get the idea of waiting. It must be really what I am doing.  I thought I was sorting and seeking and skimming information.

In the last few days I have been sorted through file and papers from last spring, seeking new ideas by read what feels like hundreds of blogs, skimming through a stack of books on teaching – behavior, reading, writing, and science.   I have been determined to have lesson plans in place, books chosen and room ready before our teacher meetings begin next week but here I sit still sorting and seeking.

Really!   I have been teaching for over 30 years and yet here I am as if I am a first year teacher looking for the just right activity to start the year.  The perfect book to read on day one.  The nervous and excited feeling in the pit of my stomach.  Will I be ready? I am waiting.

As  I slow down and watch the August rain (?? odd for Minnesota) I realize that this is what makes a great teacher.  We wait.  We gather and wait for our students, we seek out new materials even after 30 years,  we find new books for our students wanting to be sure they are relavant and connected, we seek and develop new projects every year.

My goal is to keep the learning fresh, new and engaging for students and for myself.   This means the plans are not all in place on day one. It means we build as we build our learning community.  The faces, personalities, skills, knowledge and interests of our student impact our plans and teaching.

So we sort, seek, skim and wait to meet our new friends for the year knowing that we have prepared.  We have a wealth of resources from all the seeking to use once we know our new community.

So am continue my waiting … and seeking!

About Joanne Toft

I am a retired Minneapolis Public School teacher. I walk, garden, care for my Grandson and write. Life is good!
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7 Responses to Sorting and Seeking and Skimming oh my

  1. elsie says:

    I always needed to meet my kids first before I could get into making plans. I needed to see what they would do with the books read to them, the challenges of thinking, and the conversations we had. I like that idea of sorting, skimming, and seeking.

  2. Ramona says:

    New materials, new books, new projects . . . all to keep the learning fresh, new, and engaging. My friends always ask, “Don’t you just use the plans from last year?”
    I love that you describe your current work as sorting, skimming, and seeking. It may look like you’re not doing anything, but this preliminary thinking is so important.

  3. Oh, you speak the truth! And I am doing a happy dance that because of your experience and knowledge you are continuing to grow and learn – sorting, skimming, and seeking! Good for you! Have you figured out that perfect first day read aloud? Or hopefully read aloudS! You’ll have time for more than one. Enjoy the newness again this year!

  4. luckygurl says:

    I think we have to make new plans every year because we’re slightly new teachers every year, carrying the questions and insights we developed the year before. It sounds like an active waiting, rather than a passive one… Sounds like your year’s off to just the right start.

  5. Oh..yep, and I love the process and will really miss that process. It is so much a hobby/love. I just read Wonder and I’m trying to convince my 5th grade teachers to read-aloud…I think it is my favorite new book.

    • Wonder is a great book. I do plan to use it this fall as a read aloud. So many wonderful new books not sure where to start. Which ones do I read and which ones do I leave for my students to discover? always a great question. Thanks for your comment.

  6. Jaana says:

    I loved this line: “My goal is to keep the learning fresh, new and engaging for students and for myself.” This just might become my motto for this year as well! Thank you for sharing!

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